Shalhevet closes building sale–finally

RAISE YOUR GLASS: Board treasurer Jeff Fishman drank some wine Thursday night on the day he signed papers closing the sale of Shalhevet's building to Alliance Residential.  Rabbi Segal and board president Larry Gill were out of town.

RAISE YOUR GLASS: Board treasurer Jeff Fishman drank some wine Thursday night on the day he signed papers closing the sale of Shalhevet's building to Alliance Residential. Rabbi Segal and board president Larry Gill were out of town.

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Ten months after construction was supposed to start and ending a series of delays caused by permit challenges from neighbors, Shalhevet board members signed papers April 17 that finalized the $14 million partial building sale to Alliance Residential developers, clearing the way for demolition of the old building and the start of construction of a new one at the north end of the current school site.

The transaction was officially closed by Treasurer Jeff Fishman and Secretary Noam Drazin at 12 pm Thursday at a law firm in Century City, since President Larry Gill and Head of School Rabbi Ari Segal are both in Israel for Passover break.  Mr. Fishman declined to state the name of the law firm.

“I’m very excited because this is something we’ve been looking forward to here for a while, and it will be absolutely fantastic,” said Mr. Fishman, who is the father of junior Alexa Fishman. “There was no celebration though, as I went straight back to work and had a piece of matzah.”

Spirits were high in Israel as well, where Rabbi Segal heard the news.

“I am relieved and excited,” Rabbi Segal wrote in an email to The Boiling Point.  “This is a historic moment that we have been working towards for the last 24 months and I am beyond thankful that Larry Gill can now sleep at night – at least for a little while!”

Mr. Fishman said he did not know the exact starting date of construction, but hopes it will start by the beginning of May. Plans show the new building will be three stories high with a spiral staircase, indoor gym, and arts, prayer, and sports spaces on the roof.

Construction was originally supposed to be completed in time for the start of school next fall, but in January Rabbi Segal pushed that date off to next year second semester.  He said the building would take at least nine months to complete.

A final appeal was rejected in by Los Angeles city officials in December, and most recently officials said construction would begin in March.

Despite news of the process moving forward, students expressed little faith that the building would be done before the current juniors graduate.

“I don’t think it’s going to start in time for me to be in it,” said junior Shana Chriki.  “They keep pushing it off, so I don’t know why this time would be any different.”

Some sophomores seem to feel the same way.

“I don’t think the building will be ready by the time that we end high school, which kind of sucks because we’ll be cramped into a small building for the end of our high school career,” said sophomore Noah Rothman.  “Obviously as the permit process showed us these things take longer than expected, and the same probably goes for the building.”

But officials have said often that once escrow closed, construction would closely follow.

“As soon as escrow closes, we’re going to tear down the building– if not literally the next day, then very soon after,” said Mr. Gill in an interview last month.

The southern two-thirds of Shalhevet’s building – which was a hospital before the school bought it — have now been sold, and 147 apartments and a retail complex are expected to be built on the site.

Related: Construction of new building now delayed until March

Related: Shalhevet wins construction appeal, construction to begin within 60 days

Related: New building won’t open before January 2015

Related: City zoning official approves building plans, but neighbors may still appeal

Related: Administration reveals plans for new building, showing three stories, science labs, stage and gym

Related: $8.2 million profit from partial sale of campus will start construction of new three-story building

 

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